The day before Thanksgiving Congressman Trent Franks, Congressional Candidate Sydney Hay, and Monica Ramos held a press conference seeking the release of Border Patrol agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean. The comments of Sydney Hay are copied below. For further background read this article in the Houston Chronicle.
November 21, 2007
Statement by Sydney Hay regarding Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean delivered at the Federal Correctional Institution in Phoenix, Arizona
Border security is national security. Our border patrol agents are heroic in this fight to keep our nation secure from the very real threat of terrorism. They are heroic in the fight against human smuggling and drug smuggling. They are our front line of defense in the war on terror and the war on drugs. Recently, the Democrats in Congress stripped the funding that would have increased the number of full-time border patrol agents to 23,000.
No wonder Americans have lost faith in their government’s ability to secure our border. And, considering the grave injustice that has befallen two border patrol agents, Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean, is it any wonder that recruiting of border patrol agents has become difficult?
Today on the eve of Thanksgiving, we count our blessings. None is greater than being able to gather with family and friends tomorrow around the Thanksgiving table. Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean will not be at that table with family. Ignacio Ramos will be here behind me – in solitary confinement.
The drug dealer whose testimony sent this man to prison is finally being prosecuted for smuggling a load of narcotics into the US after he had been given immunity by the US attorney but be fore he testified against Ramos and Compean. The fact that the jury was not told that the prosecution’s star witness had just been apprehended with another 700 plus pounds of narcotics is an outrage. Just prior to holding up his hand and saying “trust me, I am going to tell you the truth”, he committed another felony and brought more drugs illegally into this country.
This information was withheld from the jury – who, if they had known, would have had major doubts when this man swore that he was unarmed – testimony that sent these two men to prison for a length of sentence that defies reason. There are murderers and rapists that have seen less time behind bars than these men will serve if something is not done.
This strikes at the very heart of our judicial system. Here in America you have a Constitutional right to confront your accuser, to cross-examine him, to bring out any fact that might have bearing on his credibility. Nothing is more effective in discrediting a witness than a felony indictment.
This case cries out for a Presidential pardon. The President has pardoned the Thanksgiving turkey and we all had fun with that light-hearted tradition. But a greater tradition in this country is justice. Ramos and Compean have been denied justice.
Ignacio Ramos is in prison here in Arizona. It is up to us Arizonans to let him know we will not leave him forgotten behind these concrete walls and barbed-wire fences. We must act. I’m asking every Arizonan to add Ignacio Ramos to your Christmas card list, and when you send him your card letting him know that your thoughts and prayers are with him and his family, send another card or an email or a fax or a phone call to the White House and urge President Bush to do the right thing. He pardoned Scooter Libby because the 30 month sentence was too harsh. Surely, a sentence of over 10 years for doing one’s job to protect our national security rises far above that level.
The address to send your Christmas card:
Ignacio Ramos 58079180
37901 N. 45th Ave.
Phoenix, Arizona 85046
Congressman Duncan Hunter has sponsored H.R. 563, the Congressional Pardon for Border Patrol Agents Ramos and Compean Act. He has been the foremost Congressional leader on this issue. Congressman Franks who joins us today is a co-sponsor of the legislation. Congressional pardon legislation has never been done before. Some say it cannot be done. It is worth trying. It will keep the light of day shining on this travesty. It may compel the President to act. If President Bush does not do the right thing before his term ends, Duncan Hunter, who is not running for reelection, knows of my commitment to this cause and has asked that I take up the mantle if elected to Congress. I have agreed. I pledge to you that as a member of Congress, I will not rest until these men are released from prison.